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What Are the Uses of QR Codes for Books & Educational Materials?

QR codes let readers instantly enter the world of the author, experience interactive content and related media, discover related books, or link to Amazon or an independent bookstore for further reading purchases.

QR codes have the potential to turn reading into a more interactive experience. All the reader needs is a smartphone or mobile device to scan the QR code and they can unlock windows to world beyond the printed page.

Which books suit QR codes?

QR codes for books are easy to design and can be used across a variety of books from textbooks and instruction manuals to cook books and children's stories. They are particularly successful as a marketing or branding tool for self-publishing authors. Guidebooks to show amusement and historical attractions or luxurious coffee table books are opportunities to use QR codes as well. A good example is Usborne Publishing.

Usborne has been making children’s books for over 40 years. Founded in 1973, Usborne is the largest and most successful independent children's publisher in the UK. Usborne books are available around the world, both in English and in over 100 different languages. As a company Usborne is constantly innovating, looking for new ways to engage children with books and reading. The latest edition of the Usborne Science Encyclopedia has 180 QR codes printed on the pages of the book. The QR codes provide instant access via a mobile phone or tablet to websites with video clips of experiments, animals in their habitats and animated lessons. WATCH THE USBORNE VIDEO.

10 reasons for putting QR codes in books.

  1. Potential buyers browsing bookstores can instantly check out whether a book is the right choice for them by reading customer reviews and visiting the author's website. They can also access pricing information and research other books in the series.
  2. Other books by the author or titles in the same genre can be suggested, triggering additional  book sales.
  3. Using a QR code, readers can be brought to a page where they can leave reviews about the book and communicate with the author and other readers as well as post comments on social sites.
  4. Providing a link to an interactive element or media attracts more people to reading, and helps them learn more.
  5. A QR code can link to a book trailer.
  6. Turn printed words into audio. Implementing a QR code on the inside cover of your books can come in handy so readers can choose whether to read or listen. A simple scan of the QR Code redirects them to a mobile page where they can listen to an excerpt from the book. They can listen to it and if they like what they hear, they can click the button on the mobile page which links to the full version of the audiobook. This way, your QR code provides your readers with additional value that comes with every book they purchase.
  7. Provide your readers with excerpts. When putting up banners to promote your latest book, you can add a QR code which gives people easy access to the synopsis or excerpts of it. With their smartphones, your readers can scan the QR code and read a few pages to get them interested to purchase it. And with every QR code, you can provide a link to where they can purchase the book online if they want to finish reading the entire book.
  8. With a QR code books can be purchased directly from publishing houses and instantly downloaded to mobile devices.
  9. Boost your sales with a QR codes that when scanned provides a coupon.
  10. QR codes have the power to build the brand and marketing potential of both authors and publishing houses.

The further potential of QR codes on books.

Children love picture books and they love being read to. What could be better than their favorite author reading their favorite book to them? Scanning a QR code linking to audio or a video can open this world to them. QR codes are also a cost-effective way of flipping social media from a study distraction into a study tool by making textbooks more dynamic and interesting. QR codes can bring everything from school libraries and study rooms to worksheets and homework  to life.

Create interactive sheet music with QR codes.

In just a few steps musicians can benefit from applying QR codes to tag their printed sheet music. The QR codes enrich the score they are studying by linking it to relevant online information, such as recorded performances and background information.


How to design a great QR code for books?

A lot of thought and effort goes into the design of book content and every book cover. A successful QR code needs to fit neatly into this overall concept without detracting from it. While crisp black and white codes always stand out clearly, bringing color to them allows them to work with the book's design. Be sure to add a a call-to-action to tell the reader what will happen when the code is scanned. For example, “Scan this QR code to enter the world of …”.

Printing QR codes onto books.

The high-gloss finish of many books can create light reflection and distortion so careful thought needs to go into the positioning of QR codes on their covers. A good idea is to link it to the book's blurb, either on the back cover or the inside flap. Loose-leaf covers do get damaged or lost so it makes sense to also have the Code within the book itself.

CityStory book project, Greenville: Imprints of a City. Sustainable storytelling that goes beyond the page.

Greenville: Imprints of a City

This artfully designed coffee table book tells the story of Greenville through words and images, presented in black and silver ink with QR codes linking to videos and web pages to enhance the experience. More than just a history of the city, the book focuses on the modern city that Greenville has become, and narrates the story of today’s Greenville, with its people, places and personality. CityStory selected Delivr to power the QR codes used throughout the book to bring stories to life.

Need a QR code for your book?

Delivr® is a privacy-first software and services company serving thousands of businesses looking to drive audiences from offline to online experiences. Established in 2008, Delivr has developed software to track and visualize consumer engagement with print and broadcast media, labels and packaging. With Super Simple Serialization℠ and TrueMrk®, Delivr is extending its MarTech product suite to serialize and authenticate products. Headquartered in New York.